Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

kyz-logoIf you live in NYC, it’s hard to avoid the bus stop ads telling us all that “call grandma” is NOT an emergency plan.  And if you’ve lived here for any length of time, you’ve lived through enough disasters — both man-made and natural – that you know you really do need a plan.  Really.

Well, I’m here to tell you it’s time you got off your butt, and did something about it.  After all, it is Hurricane Preparedness week.   Start with Knowing Your Zone.  What zone, you ask? Your flood zone.  Hurricane Sandy proved that flooding and NYC can go hand in hand – with devastating consequences.  And those consequences would be even worse if you didn’t know how to protect yourself.

So how do you protect yourself?  Simple.  Three easy steps.


1.  Use NYC’s Hurricane Evacuation Zone Finder or call 311 to find out whether your home or business is located in a hurricane evacuation zone.

2.  Sign up for Notify NYC  to make sure you get the latest emergency information via text, phone, email, fax,   Twitter (@NotifyNYC), and more – should there be an emergency, or should one be imminent, you’ll be aware.

3. Take a look at the Ready New York Hurricane Guide. Its got  instructions on how to develop a hurricane disaster plan and secure your home  before a storm hits.


Once you’ve done all of that, take the  Know Your Zone Thunderclap Challenge, it’s kind of like a little test — to make sure you zone savvy and Hurricane prepared!



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easter basketOn Purim, Jews celebrate Persians trying (but not succeeding) to kill us, on Channukah, we commemorate how the Greeks tried (and failed) to kill us, and on Passover, we celebrate escaping being killed by the Egyptians. All this, Shalom Auslander points out in his novel, Foreskin’s Lament. And all this, is why there aren’t a whole lot of crafts surrounding the Jewish Holidays.

Take Easter:  The Christians have bunnies and chicks, and colorful eggs.  All lovely inspirations for fun family crafts. At that same time of year we have Passover:  famine, and locusts, and killing of the first born.  Is there a craft for that?

Well, there’s about to be.

Yesterday, I went to the Hershey’s Easter Party, a PR event where they showcased their adorable (and yummy) Easter crafts and products for 2014. Easter all the way.  Admittedly adorable. Easy to do crafts. Yummy treats.  But decidedly NFJ. (Not for Jews!)

So I say genug es genug (enough is enough – in Yiddish).  It’s time for some Passover Crafts!  And I’m here to help you adapt Hershey’s Easter crafts and Goodies for Passover.

1. Forget the Bunnies: Go Frogs (more…)

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My Stressed Teens

Being a teen is stressful.  There’s all that homework.  All that uncertainty about your social status.  At least  teens are sure of one thing: their parents know NOTHING, nothing at all.

Well,  CNN came to my apartment to talk to my family about stress.  I guess because, well, we’re stressed.  Between running a company and running a household, I’m pretty much a lunatic, and my kids have basketball, and dance, and NYC High School test prep and homework, and my husband – the job, aging parents, riding the subway every day, a dog who seems to throw up at least once a month…and always on the white carpet. We’re like the poster family for stress.

But when reporter Kelly Wallace started talking to my kids, and the cameras started to roll, they didn’t seem stressed at all.  My son and daughter were poised, and articulate, and lovely.  Maybe the cameras should be rolling around here more often.  Check them out, on CNN Parents. Teens: Generation Stressed

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1974 - I think.

1973 – I think.

My Grandparents celebrated their 50th Wedding anniversary and the Pecoho country club – long long gone.  My parents had moved that same day, while I stayed with my aunt.  But they don’t look exhausted at all.

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Throwback Thursday

That’s me on the bottom.  The little head.  When you’re the third child, there ain’t a whole lotta pictures gettin’ took!

rabinowitz 1967

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My daughter and me. Visiting Day at camp.

My daughter and me. Visiting Day at camp.

Forget the child-free v. having kids debate: Sleepaway Camp gives me the best of both worlds.

I’ve always said that the difference between how I love my children, and how I love anyone else in the world is this: if a Mack Truck were careening down the highway headed for either of my kids, I would jump in front of it to save their lives without even thinking about it – no question. If a Mack truck were careening down the highway toward anyone else I love, I’d think. And I’d miss whoever it was. No question. (more…)

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My children became B’nai Mitzvah this weekend.  It was a wonderful event.  So happy and filled with family and friends.  And I was so proud of my kids.  Qvelling, as my people say. A lot of people have already asked for a copy of the speech I gave to my kids.  So here it is.  Enjoy.

A_R 461

photo by Josh Strauss Studios


When you guys were in second grade or so, Dad and I took you with us to our ballroom dancing class for your own lesson.  They taught you the Rhumba.  You were only kind of sort of into it.  But after a few bits of instruction, and maybe a few missteps – you were good at it.  And I remember thinking as I stood there, “is there anything more heartbreakingly sweet than watching your son and daughter dance the Rhumba?”

Well, having watched the two of you up here today – the answer is a resounding yes. (more…)

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Kidz_Vuz 055The Sunday before Thanksgiving, KidzVuz hosted our fifth event — but by far our biggest one!  It was FashionTweenStas: Get your Girl On.  100 tween girls (yes, I am insane!) and their moms (less insane) in NYC  for a fashionable, fabulous, and fun day filled with all kind of great stuff for the girls to try, touch, experience, and learn.

Here’s what the girls did:

1. They got to Get Their Fashion On, by styling The Children’s Place mannequins with fabulous Holiday looks.  The folks from Children’s Place set up basic mannequins, and the girls got to use the huge selection of fabulous accessories and layers to give the mannequins their own special flair! (more…)

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Last week, I wrote about how I got to teach my daughter a lesson about real life and the online world when she got into a bit of virtual trouble. This week, I’m writing about acting pre-emptively. Because, well, watch this:

The internet is for porn
The internet is for porn,
Why you think the net was born?
Porn porn porn

Despite the fact that Forbes Magazine recently reported that only 4% of internet traffic worldwide is to pornographic sites,  (a heartening statistic), the internet kind of is for porn. And the amount of porn is besides the point.  It’s the accessibility I’m worried about. (more…)

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A Long Ago Mothers Day

As I write this, Mothers’  Day (Mothers? Mother’s? I never know) is, thankfully, almost over. I hate Mothers’ Day.

It’s not that I don’t think mothers matter or  that I don’t like being given breakfast in bed, or beautiful gifts (Missoni from Loehmann’s!), or handmade cards that really mean something.  I like all of that. It’s not that I don’t appreciate my own mother. Hey, my mother went back to grad school in her early 50’s, got a Masters in Fine Arts, and has since written four books, two libretti, and won two major literary prizes…one of them a Guggenheim. And she still rocks a creative, hip look. I appreciate her plenty.

My daughter pointed out that I shouldn’t mind Mothers Day – after all, she said, it doesn’t mean you’re getting older.  True. And yet I still hate Mothers’ Day. Let me count the ways:

1. When your child whines on a normal day, it’s annoying.  When she whines on Mothers’ Day, it’s a personal affront. (more…)

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